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Les Matheny, Chardonnay (2017)

Les Matheny, Chardonnay (2017)

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Quite a few parcels comprise Les Matheny’s Chardonnay, and Emeric Foléat vinifies each one separately, deciding on the final blend only after each individual wine develops its personality with time in barrel—in this case, well-worn 600-liter tonneaux. Produced from vines averaging 45 years of age, the wine soars from the glass, a storm of ripe green apples, freshly blasted quarry, and musky honey. The palate is both firm and expansive, with a generous pinch of telltale Jurassic salt lengthening the complex, penetrating flavors of greengage and candied lemon. Emeric’s “partial sous-voile” approach shows in the wine’s gently oxidative edge—one that bows to the veil without making a virtue of it—and for such a bold and assertive wine to remain so straightforwardly delicious is a difficult balancing act.

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